‘Behind the Green’ is all about giving you more insight into the places we feature. Our interviews reveal what happens behind the scenes, tells the stories of the people on the ground, exposes the challenges they face, as well as the communities they impact; essentially the bits you don’t usually hear.

Meet Daniel from Hotel Outside. He is a mountain fanatic! Whether it be skiing, mountain biking or climbing, this is where he is at his happiest.

Learn more about Hotel Outside here >

© Lisa Hoerterer.
© Lisa Hoerterer.

Was the vision for Hotel Outside always to be an eco-hotel or did it evolve?’

‘It has always been part of our mission, being eco-friendly is in our DNA. My father founded the hotel and he has always encouraged the family to feel like it was part of our lifestyle from the very beginning. Culturally, the area used to be agricultural based, we had to work with the land, with nature, taking care of it meant it took care of us. I think this is why being sustainable and respecting nature is deeply rooted within us’

What is the latest green initiative you have implemented at Hotel Outside?

‘Last season we changed our policy with spa slippers. We used to provide all guests with slippers/shoes to use in the spa areas and this caused a lot of waste. Guests are now encouraged to bring their own, we actively promote this new initiative to people before they arrive at our hotel. It is such a simple, small change but it has been very effective in reducing our waste’

What advice would you give to eco-travellers looking for genuinely eco-friendly and sustainable places to stay online?

‘My advice would be to look at the hotel’s approach to transportation. For example, we actively incentivise our guests to use public transport to reach us. We offer a free shuttle service from major airports to try to limit the use of cars. We also have a Tesla car pick-up service. Hotel Outside’s guests do not need a car when they stay with us. We offer guided tours and special hiking passes to name a few.’

What is the most challenging part of running an eco-hotel?

‘To motivate and engage staff in our eco-friendly vision. It always starts in the small steps, for instance, teaching staff members how to separate waste. You have to lead by example, the owners and management have to live a lifestyle which doesn’t contradict the approach at the hotel. It doesn’t work if you simply set it out as a list of rules and order people to change. Our job is to develop them as entrepreneurs of green practices, so they become proactive with it.’

What has been the biggest learning curve or realisation for you personally?

‘For me personally, it was the realisation that food and nutrition are where it all starts. I didn’t realise the impact of industrialised meat on our planet as much as I do today. I am part of a number of discussion groups and network with people who are part of the wider debate on food, this has supported my understanding. We are not vegan/vegetarian here at the hotel, but we do try to push more plant/vegetable based options rather than meat’.

Where is the greenest place you have ever stayed which inspired you?

‘In New York, I stayed at Hotel No. 1 in Central Park. The whole concept, design, experience and the way they communicated this green approach was what appealed to me most. It was incredibly refreshing to see this in contrast to the typical city hotels we are all used to.’

Why is Hotel Outside a great choice for any eco-conscious traveller?

‘I am not sure of the exact translation but our ethos in English is ‘In the outside’. We see ourselves as part of the National park. We are an extension of it. We have a holistic approach to the region, our community and function within it. Our ways are deeply rooted within us.’

What’s next for Hotel Outside?

‘We do have plans to improve, we always will. We are asking, should we add more rooms? If we do this we have to ask, what is sustainable? We also have a future project to capture rainwater on the roofs which could be used for groundwater and our gardens to conserve water usage.’

Find out more about Hotel Outside & do your own green checks here.

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